Balancing Parenting with an Online Education

Being a parent.  Getting an online education.  Either one may sound difficult on its own, but try pairing the two.  The thought of the combination could send shivers down your spine.

Personally, as someone who works from home while also raising a child, I know just how difficult it can be to balance parenting with trying to attain career or educational-oriented goals.  However, for as hard as it can sometimes be, it doesn’t necessarily have to be impossible.

Here are a few ways that you might be better able to balance parenting while getting or continuing an education online.

 

Keeping the Kiddies Occupied

In this day and age, finding something to keep the kids occupied doesn’t always mean just plopping them down in front of the television, putting on a DVD or letting them play videogames.  While these can certainly be fun occasional distractions, they don’t have to be the only options.  Quiet play time with toys or blocks, letting them do puzzles, mazes, or connect the dot worksheets, having them color or draw, and similar activities can be fun, educational, and maybe more importantly, quiet activities that can keep the kids buys while you complete coursework, read or study.

 

Determining Work Sessions

Personally, as my own son moved into the four and five-year-old age range, I began to realize that he could pair his own little work or study sessions with my own.  At times, I would set him up at the table, right beside me, with worksheets or workbooks that focused on handwriting, reading, counting, telling time, and at times – when I could get my hands on an extra laptop – typing as well.

While these father/son joint work sessions didn’t always last that long since my son’s attention span was fairly limited at this age, it was still often a nice 15-30 minute period where not only was I getting work of my own completed, but I was ensuring that I helped build his education as well.

 

Finding a Schedule that Works

It could take a little while, but over time and as you begin to get a feel not only for your own work needs and schedule but those of your child or children, hopefully you’ll be able to better meld the two.  Taking time to gauge things like when you work and study best, and then building a schedule for your child around when they get tv time, when they have school or event practices, when they have play dates, when they like to take naps, when they go to bed, and other activities that could allow you a break from their care, can enable you to develop times during the day or week when you can maximize the efforts and time you’re able to put toward you online education.

 

Proper Communication

Sometimes all it takes is the proper communication regarding your needs when it comes to your studies and coursework to get the proper balance between parenting and your online education.  Whether it’s speaking with friends and family who might be able to assist with caring for the kids or at least take then off your hands occasionally when working on a big project or test prep, or just explaining to a spouse or older child your need for an extra hour each night after dinner for some good study time, all it might take is for you to express your needs to others in order to have them pitch in and give you an extra hand once in a while.  You may also find that kids can be surprisingly receptive to your requests and feedback, even at a young age, and you could find that if you ask them to play quietly or give mommy or daddy a little extra quite time, they can be quite adaptable at finding things to do on their own and in the process, giving you the chance you need to catch up on your education-related duties.